Monday, October 31, 2011

The Seeds of Halloween

By Pauly
San Francisco, CA


It's Halloween. Or in my neck of the woods... Halloweed or even Halliween.

This is my first Halloween in San Francisco. My gay friends often tell me that Halloween is "Christmas for gays." It's their favorite time of year. I'm told it's an insane scene up in the Castro tonight, but I'm not going to check it out because I'm a degenerate gambler and Monday night is poker night at my place aka the Ice Palace. Besides, I'm not gay... "not that there's anything wrong with that."

When I lived in NYC, I checked out the Halloween parade in the West Village, which had it's fair share of freaks and costumes (on both straights and gays) that make folks on the religious right wash their eyeballs out with holy water. I can only imagine what Halloween is like in San Francisco, but even Nicky and Halli are skipping out on "Gay Christmas" to play cards because the Castro gets way to crowded and insane these days.

Adults treat Halloween in two ways -- trying to recapture innocent moments of childhood, or they tweak it completely as a holiday to indulge in sex and booze. Hence why so many people get shitfaced on Halloween and girls walk around in the sluttiest costumes imaginable. Just add "slut" to it and you have a costume. Yesterday, I even saw a photo of "Slutty Hitler." Even that left me speechless.

October 31st is the one time of year when "society" doesn't judge you, so folks take advantage of the lax "morality" rules, and they do as they please. And if by chance you have an opportunity to indulge in psychedelics tonight -- then go for it. Everything is so fucking trippy on Halloween anyway, so you might as well melt your mind and cross over to the other side of reality. If you see any aliens, make sure you say hello.

Damn, what happened to Halloween?

As per usual, a religious holiday (All Saints Day) got hijacked by the occultists to do freaky shit the night before, then the holiday got tweaked by big business and re-branded by a bunch of gin-giuzzling Don Drapers as an opportunity to sell candy. Somewhere along the way, the holiday for rogue Jesus freaks and kids, morphed into an evening for adults to purge all psychological demons.

Whatever your poison? Get wasted. Queer it up. Dress like a slut. Yeah, Halloween is a pretty crazy evening any way you cut it.

Speaking of cutting it... I was a kid in the early 1980s, there's was always a tinge of paranoia centered around acquiring tainted candy during the trick-o-treating rounds. I guess that's my first bout with fear mongering. The press actually had some semblance of integrity thirty years ago, but many of the news stations and newspapers ran stories about urban myths. It seemed like once a year, they recycled slanted news articles about razor blades in apples and other jagged things inserted into candy bars. That paranoia quickly spread in our neck of the woods and definitely put a wrinkle in a super fun holiday. I remember one doctor's office even offered kids free x-rays of sacks of candy to make sure the goodies were metal free.

Pretty crazy shit, eh? When you're seven years old and have to smush a Mounds bar to make sure there's no razor blades in it before you eat it, at some point you're going to be just a wee bit paranoid as an adult. Ah, now you see the origins of a fear monger? That's how I got my start and the seeds for the Tao of Fear were planted.

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